You can afford to feel and look like a million

Sierra Academy of Style freshman student Gaby works on a mannequin head to learn styling and cutting skills.

Sierra Academy of Style freshman student Gaby works on a mannequin head to learn styling and cutting skills.

For those who think they can’t afford to pamper themselves now and then and to upgrade their look, rejoice, there’s a place in Carson City where you can enjoy affordable pampering while helping students earn their beauty certification.

From Oxygen Facials preferred by movie stars to a simple bang trim, the student cosmetologists at the Sierra Academy of Style can make you feel and look like a million.

It takes a lot of learning to become a beautician. Always supervised by instructors, the students who provide floor services have already had 300 hours of intense behind-the-scenes instruction — including creating at least 13 hairstyles each on two mannequin heads — before the additional 1,200 hours of clinical training on willing participants. They complete their final 100 hours by preparing for testing before the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology. That makes 1,600 hours of intense training before hanging out their own shingle.

Academy owners Brandy and Anthony Gaynor take considerable pride in their school, instructors and what they call “their full-blown salon.” Brandy states, “The quality of our products and services are comparable to any full-service salons within the region, but at prices affordable to everyone.”

Students can perform all the latest in facials, waxing, hair, and nail services. Got skimpy eye lashes? Students can give you long, lovely lashes. Need makeup assistance? Not a problem. Even your oft-neglected back can get a “facial.” Men are welcome to relax and enjoy the Gentleman’s Facial.

New client Brenda Cleaves of Minden recently saw the school’s ad and coupon and decided to try the nail services because of the “cost factor” and is “looking forward to establishing a relationship with the school.” Student nail tech Hee, who Brandy says is quite the artist, did her nails. Carol — pictured above and the school’s very first client — has already established an ongoing relationship and has returned to the school at least 15 times.

Sierra Academy of Style, LLC officially opened at the corner of Roop and Fairview May 2, 2017, the second beauty school at this location. Currently, there are 40-50 students learning all aspects of the beauty business.

Anthony states, “There’s such a shortage of beauticians in our region that when our students pass their state boards and practicals, they are immediately hired.”

It takes 11 months of full-time attendance to qualify for the Boards in cosmetology, something that is unusual for most beauty schools where it may take up to two-four years to graduate. Brandy is passionate that students should be able to choose the schedule best suited to their needs — full-time or part-time. A full-time nail tech student can earn a license within four months and an esthetician can begin working after seven months of full-time instruction. Her philosophy is that the sooner a student graduates, the sooner the earning potential.

Anthony still works full time as a gold miner at the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nye County and handles most of the human resources needs within the school. Brandy handles the mounds of paperwork. As Brandy stated, “I do the paper works, he does the people work.” The couple has a home in the Indian Hills area.

When asked why they opened the school, Anthony replied, “Brandy was the driving force behind our decision.” A graduate of the former beauty school, Brandy knows what it takes to run a successful school. She was a former nail tech who now spends some time as an instructor as part of her duties.

When looking for appropriate sites to house the school, the couple looked at quite a few that just didn’t meet their needs. When introduced to the landlord where they now rent and where the former school was housed, “everything clicked.” Since all the furniture and fixtures were still within the building from the former school, they needed only to sign the lease, turn the key, and begin accepting students.

In addition to the technical training needed, Anthony proudly adds they provide students practical training in business and social skills students will need to be successful in the business world. Most students become self-employed immediately unless they work for a chain to gain more experience. They also make sure their instructors follow their unique “style.”

Even instructors who may have worked in the field for many years and are semi-retired must gain additional 500 hours of training to be able to teach.

“Finding good instructors is like finding a needle in a haystack,” asserts Anthony. Brandy adds, “Our current instructors are many needles in a haystack and are wonderful.”

Brandy suggests anyone seeking beauty services should call to make an appointment to assure a student is available when they walk in the door, 775-885-7417, 2874 S. Roop St. Services and costs can be viewed at


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